My name is Aiken Drum, and I am a Chiefaholic. I came here four years ago with the highest level of hope and excitement about the direction of this franchise that I have probably ever held. It was definitely at it's highest level since the kicker who shall not be named helped us lose a playoff game--but I digress (sob). We had just suffered through three years of Herm Edwards best court bard impersonation (that featured Herm's now famous sideline antics of swilling gatorade directly from the cooler and drawing pictures with his dry erase set) and watched as the team rolled up the 3rd worst three year record in team history with a total of 15 wins. It was the best of times (just hired Scott Pioli), and looking back now, it was also the worst of times (just hired Scott Pioli).
Our worst three game stint was 2007,08 and 09 when we won all of 10 games--but that three year stretch included two of Herm's seasons and one of Todd Haley's. Since going to 16 game seasons, Herms 15 wins is the worst for any single coach over 3 seasons. Frank Ganz might have been able to beat that mark, only winning 8 games in two seasons, but thankfully, somebody pulled his ticket before he got the chance.
In comparison, Gunther Cunningham won 16 games in only two seasons and was fired for it. Based on that criteria, Herm should have been excommunicated, but there I go digressing again! Most of you will remember Gunny Cunningham. He became HC in 1999 and in that time span of 13 years, only Dick Vermeil has any kind of lasting success.
Since 2007 (which was the year that Herm pulled the pin and blew up the team talent-wise and went with a youth movement), the Chiefs have now won a total of 29 games. Out of 80. That's a .3625 win percentage. Pathetic, doesn't begin to address how bad that really is. In fact, it is symptomatic of what one of the old posters around here (who has disappeared) discussed as a 'floundering' team. Bewsaf's post about floundering teams can be found here.
The point I'm trying to make (before it gets lost in the morass of ineptitude that has been perpetrated on this fan base in recent history) is that times prior to 2009 had not been good for Chiefs fans. Excepting Coach Vermeil's time in KC, times had not been good at all since Marty.
Marty left KC under much the same circumstances (in a very general sense) as those that surrounded Andy Reid's departure last week in Philly. Marty fielded a consistently very competitive team that made some noise in the playoffs but could just never quite overcome in the big games. That is part of Marty's legacy. I never expected to harbor the hope that the same fate would not befall Andy Reid, but the world moves in mysterious ways.
Clark Hunt certainly decided to let it all hang out in choosing Andy Reid. He's just about the polar opposite of the Pioli regime that was just kicked to the curb (with my fervent approval). Reid is known for running a 4-3 defense. The Chiefs have been running a 3-4 base defense now for four years. How long will it take Reid (should he decide to change it back to the 4-3) to find a defensive guru to get it set up and running on all cylinders? I'll bet it takes longer than expected because Reid is NOT the defensive mind in this equation.
Reid is purportedly a QB mentor. I don't know if I believe that so much as I believe Reid is a master game planner that puts his QBs in the best possible place to succeed. The success that Reid's QBs have while under his tutelage, and the lack of same after moving on, could just as easily be a symptom of scheme as of having a fabulous mentor. In fact, it would seem to me MORE likely to be scheme. Just because your mentor gets you excited about playing doesn't mean a poor QB can suddenly become good. Whatever the reason for QB success under Reid, he's about as far to the other end of the pole as he can get from what we've experienced here in KC the last what, 7-8 years?
Then we come to Reid's most talked about flaw. From what I've seen in the ether, Reid can't make an adjustment during a football game in terms of play calling to save his life. This my friends, is not any different than we have seen under Romeo and Daboll. Haley could adjust, but he couldn't get the play called. Haley's mechanics sucked and Romeo and Daboll were just out of their depth. In addition to this, Reid's clock management is in question. Hello Romeo. Hello Herm. Haley did a better job, but going backwards (or even maintaining a poor grade) in this department is something that can cost us games. Games that this team simply cannot afford to lose.
Make no mistake, Reid is an upgrade over what we have been struggling with watching the last four years. I really hope he puts it all together and we get to see that vaunted trophy that we all so badly want to see in KC. I just don't see it on the horizon yet. Something in my heart broke during the Pioli debacle, and there is only one thing now that can restore it to it's original Shape.
The Pioli era has done something to my ability to hope that may never be undone. I mean, Clark went out four years back and spent the money to buy the best he could get to put this team on the right track, given the hierarchy of how the franchise was set up to run. That decision failed so miserably, that Clark has now even changed hierarchy in hopes of finding the right formula to change the course. Nobody can ever say again that Clark doesn't care about the Chiefs. I truly believe he is doing everything he can think of to get'r done.
So we wait. We wait for coaching moves, the upcoming draft, contract signings, mini camps and OTAs, and finally summer camp. The media will be there all full of piss and vinegar and the fan base will come out of the chute thinking this team is better than the '69 squad that beat the Vikings in the Super Bowl. Everyone will be so convinced that Reid's 10-9 playoff record and his one NFC Championship that led to a Super Bowl appearance are just proof that the Chiefs are on their way, that they won't even notice when the Chiefs lose a few of those close games--for awhile.
The most dangerous part of this hire, in my mind, is the length of tenure it could produce without that coveted Super Bowl win. Philadelphia fans and their team's owner were enamoured enough with Reid, that they watched as 14 seasons slipped by without that elusive title. Are those fans today jubilant that Andy Reid was their coach? Many of them probably still wish he was there. Many others, had they known ahead of time the outcome, would probably have traded those 14 years of Andy Reid for about three years of (insert super bowl winning coach name here) if they had indeed gotten to see that Lombardi trophy come to town.
Which Andy Reid will the Chiefs get? The Super Bowl winner or the coach in decline? I know which one I want. Here's to you Clark. Thanks for trying.
Chiefs WILL, Chiefs WIN, BELIEVE